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Office Politics and the Project Manager

Originally Published at Iowabiz.com in January, 2008

You are a project manager.

You have a project you want done.

You've made assignments and set the vision.

So why isn't anything happening?  It might be that your organization is a victim of office politics, a case of passive-aggression in your company.  I've written numerous articles on my blog about office politics, and many people have used GUST in their career planning strategies.  Want to read more on the subject?  Check out www.office-politics.com.

The one constant problem with office politics is that 1) most people start the conflict themselves without realizing it and 2) most people don't realize that they are involved in a game until it is too late.  Celine over at the Pimp Your Work blog shared a great post about what to do when your team loses.  Office politics can cost your company thousands of dollars, and when it rears its ugly head on your projects, Celine shares some things to do to help your team cope:

  • Keep your spirits up
  • Find out what you could've done better
  • Show appreciation for everyone's efforts
  • Focus on how well the team worked
  • Look forward to the next challenge

As the business owner, if you have control over the circumstances that caused the loss, there are some additional things I'd like to suggest for you to do to mitigate the issue:

  • Determine the motives of the perpetrators - it may be that the office politics prevented you from doing something really stupid.
  • Figure out what can be salvaged - did office politics completely undermine your project?  Can anything be saved?
  • Establish safeguards for the future - determine how to leverage accountability to ensure that accomplishment can still occur.  Remove those who prevented your success earlier.

Carpe Factum!


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